Thursday, December 14, 2006

Human Rights in Australia: Muslims fear being used as scapegoats in next Federal election

The Age reports "ISLAMIC leaders believe the Federal Government will use the community as scapegoats in next year's federal election campaign.

Their fears are heightened by the Government's failure to release the report of Prime Minister John Howard's hand-picked Muslim advisory group examining how to tackle extremism, terrorism and other issues facing the Muslim community.

Muslim Reference Group member Yasser Soliman said the Government was holding back the group's report while sending critical messages to the wider community, and "some people can read between the lines".

Mr Soliman, the past president of the Islamic Council of Victoria, said he was baffled at the delay. "It is commonly said, and not only by Muslims, that the reason is, they want to position the Muslim community as refusing to integrate and not contributing to the nation, and this report might challenge a few of those perceptions," he said."

This blog has been alert & alarmed over Howard's strategy of demonising the Muslim community under the guise of 'integration' and by setting up a straw man that migrant groups should inculcate Australian values through some form of bizarre osmosis. The values of market fundamentalism and socially engineered monoculturalism are taking this country in directions that will damage our social and cultural fabric.

Short-term sloganeering to ramp up fear and loathing of minority groups is as low as it gets in the pantheon of political demagoguery. It is bleeding obvious the Government has taken this path to shore up political support. History will not be kind to the key perpetrators.

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